A new camp on the mountain!

Today is moving day!

Around noon the crew and I go on an expedition up the mountain on Ephraim Canyon Road.  I’m concerned because several fifth wheels and travel trailers have been hauled past our campsite heading up the mountain in recent days and I’ve only seen one come back down.  I want to size up the situation.

I’m happy to discover that the campsite I showed you in a previous post is not occupied.

Considering that someone could fill that site while I’m breaking camp, I continue looking for other possibilities.

This next one would do in a pinch, but it’s not a great site in my opinion.


The biggest fault of this site is its visibility. 

The bottom of the photo is where the spur road connects with the main road.  I don’t like being gawked at.  Also, the site being close to the main road means Spike would be out in the middle of the main road directing traffic.  It also earns demerits for being unlevel with a tendency to mud up, and it’s not aesthetically pleasing to me.

Up the mountain we go until we come to another spur.

Not knowing whether there’s a place to turn around, I park the PTV and the crew and I walk the lane to investigate.  We all need to keep our circulation going anyway.  Bridget hurries ahead (Miss Big Shot), and Spike tags behind, since he’s the only one of us bearing the responsibility of lifting a leg on every other plant.


At the sight of a travel trailer, we turn around and walk back to the PTV.

From this point on, the road climbs quickly in a series of switchbacks.  We arrive at the meadow where Spike soaked in the creek and where the weather station is set up.  Hoo-boy.  This is awfully high up for us.  I’d better keep looking though.  We might be desperate.

Past the meadow and the slope with the patches of snow, we come to another spur.

I turn onto the road and immediately have second thoughts.  It’s narrow and deeply rutted with sharp, evil-looking rocks.  I send up a prayer for the tires.  Twice we ford small, muddy streams.  I can’t turn us around so . . . onward we go!

Another alpine meadow opens up before us. 

Five or six RVs are clustered by the spruce trees.  Nope, not for us!


People towed those big RVs up this awful road?   I continue until I find a place to turn around.  I drive back to the main road.  Not far from that spur road, the top of the mountain comes into view.  It’s actually a ridge.  An RV is parked on top of it, silhouetted against the sky.

They must be able to see Timbuktu from up there.  And that’s where they’ll end up when they’re struck by lightning . . . .

We return to Camp Bluebell and I break camp.

It’s early afternoon and very hot, the hottest day since we’ve been on this mountain.  Of course, the hitch refuses to hitch and the coupler refuses to couple.   No matter how I move the PTV backward and forward BY MILLIMETERS, jumping out of the driver’s seat, cranking, trying the hitch lock, no good, jumping back in, again and again . . .   On the verge of a stroke, my patience rolls away like sweat down my back.  The coupler is perfectly seated over the hitch ball, but the dang hitch lock won’t go down!

I’ll fix this once and for all.

I crank up the post and remove the cone.

Then I bring the post down to about two inches above the ground.  I plan to pull the BLT forward so that the movement of the PTV and the weight of the BLT will result in the happy, albeit abrupt, union of hitch ball and coupler.

I lower the post down in the event that all hell breaks loose and the tongue of the BLT disengages and heads south.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t worry, you can still follow along.

The important thing is . . .

. . . it works!  I can lock the hitch lock!  We’re hitched!  Up the mountain we go and soon we are set up in our new campsite.

Yeah, right.

The present heat wave convinces me to back the BLT where there’s afternoon shade from a few aspens.  That’s easy.  However, the ground is far from level.  Oh well, I guess I have to get out the shovel.

Fortunately the ground is covered with gravel. 

It’s fairly easily to shovel out a depression for one of the BLT’s tires.  I monkey around with gravel, backing up, putting gravel back, driving forward, yadda-yadda-yadda.  Finally it’s level side-to-side.

I pull my blue camp chair out of the PTV, get myself a drink, and sit in the shade with the crew to cool off.  (See the blue chair in photo below?) Later I unhitch and level the BLT front-to-back.  Okay!  Enough with the mundane!

Here’s our pretty, new camp!


By the time I take the above photo, clouds block the sun.  The heat vanishes with the arrival of a light sprinkling of rain and increased breezes coming up the mountain.  The cool mountain air returns!

I set up an “outdoor room” in a shady spot, read my kindle, and relax.


The aspen leaves rustle in the breeze.  Hmm . . . I think I’ll call this . . .  Camp Aspen.


Charles Viancin The Lilypad Lid
SnugFleece Elite Wool Mattress Pad – Calif. King
Camco Telescopic Collapsible Rake
Summer Infant 3 Stage Super Seat
Digital TV antenna Indoor 20 dB amplified HDTV/UHF/VHF
AWOL on the Appalachian Trail

This entry was posted in Simple living and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

68 Responses to A new camp on the mountain!

  1. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    Exciting post…you had me worried for a minute. :-). Love your reading spot.
    I’m afraid I might be a bit cowardly on some of those roads. Enjoy your stay.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It doesn’t matter if you’re cowardly or not, once you’re on one of these narrow, miserable mountain roads, you have to follow it until you can turn around. Nice to hear from you, Val. Thank you — We will enjoy.

  2. Rita from Phoenix says:

    I love your reading room. Surprising to see so many trailers up the mountain…must be there for the pageant. Overcast this late afternoon in Phoenix with a breeze…hope it rains soon but then again we’ll be complaining of the humidity. I’ll take the heat but no humidity please. Enjoy your stay…it’s a beautiful camp site.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Like I wrote, I was surprised to see them up so high and in a place that required towing on that awful road with some very tight turns.

      I hope you Phoenicians get some relief from the heat soon. And here I am complaining about a few hours of heat this afternoon . . .

      • Rita from Phoenix says:

        I was standing in the shade of my 40 ft pine tree but it felt like I was standing out in the sun…the wind was so hot. The breeze did not bring relief from the heat. Don’t know if you’ve heard, 19 hot shot firefighters perished in Yarnell. I feel so bad for families who lost loved ones.

  3. Brian says:

    I was also getting nervous!
    Camp Aspen looks nice and cool.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Our site is positioned close to the slope of the mountain where the air rises and cools. I’m pleased with this camp.

  4. The new camp site looks great. You really had to work at the level part of it though. Now you can relax for a while and get out to explore, especially when the big campers leave.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Martha! Our new camp is a little higher than the previous one, but apparently not enough to bother us. I don’t notice any difference and the crew seems fine. They’ve been nosing around in the bushes, exploring the perimeter, and generally enjoying their new home.

  5. AZ Jim says:

    For awhile I was using a 20′ motor home for camping. One of the disadvantages is if you have to move you leave a site that others may immediately claim. I made up a sign that read “This site is occupied” and I would put it in a camping chair when I left the site. I also used a couple of those road cones to make sure anyone would “get it”. I never had a problem upon returning…..Good spot Sue! Enjoy!

    • AZ Jim says:

      PS….You need to put this item in your Amazon list.

      Campsite Occupied Sign (I replaced Jim’s link with an RVSue link.)

      • Eileen P. says:

        I also use a “campsite occupied” sign. But after I had some teenagers take my site in a state park that had all the normal signs of occupancy (chair out, water bottles on picnic table, etc), I supplemented the “notice”. When I drive away and plan to return, I place two gallon water bottles on either side of the logical entrance, and string orange caution tape between them. It’s a great marker, easy to leave there, and simple to move out of the way when I return.
        Eileen in Phoenix (where it has cooled off to a breezy 115 degrees)

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I wouldn’t hesitate to put up a sign in a campground. I feel a bit strange doing that for a boondocking site I haven’t really occupied yet. I’m concerned that things like signs, clotheslines, tape across a road, etc. would give rangers a reason to want me gone.

          In a state park or any kind of campground, you’re darn right I’d stake my claim and put up a sign if I felt it necessary. It’s not an issue once I park the BLT and leave in the PTV.

          • Eileen P. says:

            Makes sense…I was just thinking of that small window of time between the moment you find a good camp, and when you return with the BLT.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Thanks for the suggestion, Jim! I added the sign to the “For the road and campsite” page. (scroll down)

  6. Walt says:

    Another winner! It looks a lot cooler than here in Boise. Not quite as hot as Arizona but 104-degrees today and a record high of 109 forecast for tomorrow. I get to take our rig out Wednesday for four nights, and I can’t wait! Not only will it be more scenic, it will be cooler.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good for you, Walt! Enjoy your days and nights out with your rig. I’m sure you’ll appreciate the change to cooler weather.

  7. Cathie Laurent says:

    Another perfect campsite! Really enjoy the fact that you are putting the items people have ordered from Amazon. I always check the links and see if there is something I “must have”!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good to know, Cathie! I try to choose a variety of types of products, things that suit different folks in different situations. It’s interesting what my readers buy. It’s all good! 🙂

  8. cinandjules (NY) says:

    You indeed are a seasoned full timer………….work that hitch girl! Thank heavens the tongue didn’t go south.

    Your spot looks peaceful especially your sitting room. I see you are at 9200 ft…how are you and the crew feeling? From the previous pictures I noticed you like Arnold Palmer’s drinks. Have you tried the pink lemonade?

    A shovel to level the spot. We had these yellow blocks that look like huge lego pieces.

    The crazy weekend is just ahead…….the lake is full of citidiots with their powerful jet skis and boats. Kids screaming, dogs barking and fireworks.

    Bridget is warming up so good for the camera!

    Happy 4th..stay safe!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Sometimes it’s better to lower a wheel than raise the other wheel. For example, if I raised the other wheel the step would be too high for Spike to jump up into the BLT. I don’t like a high step either, for that matter. I have some yellow blocks but I often use a piece of wood.

      Ooh… jet skis… ATVs on water! You know how I have trouble with noise. I don’t know how you can stand it.

      No, I haven’t tried the pink lemonade. I like the half tea/half lemonade. Actually I buy it for the jugs. They’re rugged with strong handles, making not-too-heavy containers for storing water.

  9. Tawanda says:

    Sue, you are amazing, love reading about all your adventures in the wilderness and the human encounters you have, your telling of it is like being there with you, drivel to you perhaps, not to me or the many who also enjoy…
    Such a nice area you have found there in the Manti La Sal’s, trust your not too much higher now than you were and that you n the crew are better acclimated…
    Enjoy the cool temps for those of us in the sweltering record breaking heat.
    As always thank you for sharing!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Tawanda. I still have moments where I’m amazed at how many people show up at my blog when I post. As if that isn’t amazing enough, they enjoy reading about my daily doings! Thank you for your sweet message to me. Hope the temps drop soon where you are . . .

  10. cinandjules (NY) says:

    That totally makes sense…now that you mentioned it. Never thought about it increasing the height of the step.

    The lake isn’t so peaceful right at the moment. 🙁 My problem is people..control your kids…If I screamed like that when I was a youngen…I wouldn’t be alive to tell you about it today. Excuse me…but IS there a reason you allow your dog to bark all day long? I think people get up here and lose their minds.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Reminds me of when we camped along a creek near Zion NP. A family camped downstream and it was one hollering after another. The father hollers, the mother hollers, the two kids holler, everybody hollers at everybody. I knew what the kids wanted on their hot dogs . . . Every word out of every one of them was at full volume.

      They leave and another family camps in the same spot. The family is huge (This is Mormon country)… at least 8 kids like stair-steps..

      I hardly knew they were there. They walked by our camp quietly. I spoke to them and it was “Yes, Ma’am” and smiles.

  11. Timber n' Rusty says:

    Wow Sue, you have another great camp site, we are in 90’s here in the Flagstaff area with hail, rain and wind every day around 11am. We are trying to hang in the area till that great moment of getting the key’s to the home. ,,,,,,,very nice photos of your camp and pups.,,,,,,Rusty n’ Timber

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good to hear you and Timber are doing okay. I know the waiting is hard and the heat doesn’t make the days go any faster. Thanks for writing, Rusty.

  12. Mick says:

    Love the new Google map widget.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Mick . . . Isn’t it cute? I love it, too!

      I also cleaned up the sidebar by putting a lot of the junk at the bottom. Looks cleaner, I think.

  13. DeAnne in TN says:

    Is the BLT and PTV parked on the side of the road? It looks like it from the picture? Just curious…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s more like a lane or driveway. It dead-ends shortly out of the photo. No one will be coming here.

      It isn’t the most picturesque way to position the BLT in this campsite but I felt shade was the most important thing this week. That’s why I set up an outdoor room over in the aspens where it’s cool and prettier. Pretty is important! 🙂

      Oh, I thought of one more thing. I try not to drive or park on grass. I’ll often pull up close to grass but it’s not good to enlarge the area of bare ground. That’s my feeling anyway.

  14. EmilyO of KS says:

    Sad news from the Yarnell Hill area in AZ, 18 firefighters from the Prescott have died in a fire there. Bayfield Bunch says it’s about 20 miles from their home there. So scary with all this hot and dry weather. I know you are watchful and the Rangers know you are up there, but I still pray for you that you will be okay.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The latest report I read has the number up to 19 dead and the town of Yarnell is gone. I hope Gaelyn is okay (geogypsy blog). Her fifth wheel is in Yarnell… or was. What a terrible tragedy for so many people, especially the firefighters who perished and their families.

      Nice of you to think of us, Emily. Our nearest neighbor on this mountain is the forest ranger.

  15. Pam says:

    Ah the reading room looks great! Just what I like doing at a campsite. But how do you keep the Mosquitos from feasting on you? Maybe they don’t live out there?
    I love the links to what people buy! It gives me ideas, and I know the price without any research 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Pam! No mosquitoes! I assume that’s because this is a dry climate. Very few flying bugs, probably because any water around here is fast-moving.

      I noticed some flies around the fire ring at the last camp and at this camp. That’s probably because of people leaving foodstuff in the fire rings. Also the despicable practice of some males who make sure a fire is out by urinating on it. Yes, camping has a dark side!

  16. Angie2B says:

    Happy 4th Sue!

  17. G says:

    Sue, quick question. That 14 day limit in certain government land, does that mean you have to leave that land entirely, ie camped at xyz National Forest, on 14th day, you have to leave that xyz National Forest? Or does it mean you just have to relocate to another spot within the same area and if so, what do they consider relocate?


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi G!

      After 14 days you can continue to camp within the same forest as long as your camp is 25 miles away (or 10 miles, or 30 miles, whatever the rule for that forest) from the original camp. (Some heavily-used forest areas near big cities like Salt Lake City, the limit is 7 days, BTW.)

      I’m not sure what you mean by your last question… You’ve relocated when you set up camp somewhere else and spend the night.

      I enjoy answering questions, including the ones that aren’t “quick.” Thanks for writing.

  18. Sue, What is your secret to aligning your TV and Trailer when hitching. Are you one of the gifted folks who “get it right” the first time or do you use some sort of device to assist you?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Cynthia!

      You gave me my first chuckle of the day, Cynthia. No, I’m not one of those gifted folks. The best I’ve ever done is two tries.

      I don’t use any device. I line up the PTV and BLT visually, using my side mirror. I try to duplicate the way they look lined up when already hitched. Then I look at an object on the ground… a rock, a clump of grass, whatever, and try to back up the same distance as the gap between the hitch ball and coupler. Once they’re close I inch the PTV back and when I stop, I press the emergency brake so it doesn’t roll another inch. Sometimes I go too far and have to move forward a tiny bit.

      Like I said, I’ve done it in two tries. But I’ve also done it after a gazillion tries! 🙂

      The times it took longer was when the ground was very uneven. Either the PTV was on a slope or tilted or the BLT was on a slope.

      My hitch lock lever is very persnickety. I don’t know why. When everything was new, I didn’t have to be so precise. Even so, hitching is not a big deal. My writing dramatizes the process.

      Another thing I’ve learned over the years . . . If you attempt to do something outside during the hottest hour of the day, things are going to break or be ornery!

      • Carol in OK says:

        I had a coupler on a utility trailer that was hard to lock. So annoying. I sprayed it with a silicone spray (Liquid Wrench). It works great now. Hope it works for you.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I’ll spray it. The heavy traffic on the mountain road Saturday stirred up a lot of dust which has worked its way into everything. Thanks, Carol.

  19. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    I use a tube of White Lithium Grease to lube the ball real good. Just a squirt on my finger of about 3 inches works good. Then when I un-hitch I put half a tennis ball on the ball to keep from getting grease on my pant legs. I’ll betcha a tube of White Lithium Grease can be bought on Amazon 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Joe . . . You’re right. I need to get my act together and fix that hitch ball so I don’t have to struggle with it again.

  20. I love your “reading room”! Looks so inviting! We got some rain here last night, not much but it settled the dust, cleaned the air and we can now see the Black Range Mountains. Still smoke from the wildfires, but it seems to be a lot less smoke and haze. Hopefully they got rain over there too!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, these dry states with dry brush and dry timber could use a good, long rain… several would be good. Only brief sprinkles here. It doesn’t seem terribly dry here. The plants are covered in moisture each morning. Of course, that probably doesn’t mean much. Glad you got some rain. May more be forthcoming!

  21. Louise says:

    The reading room is wonderful! I have to ask — does a grove of aspens have that same lovely scent that a grove of birches creates? I once wandered through a birch forest for an entire day on my horse — glorious!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Louise! I winced reading your line, “I once wandered through a birch forest for an entire day on my horse.” I’ve always wanted a horse and to experience a day like you described, alone in a forest on horseback, seems divine.

      It’s been a lifetime since I’ve been in a grove of birches. I’d have to say, no, aspens aren’t like that. Their special gift is the twinkling of their leaves at the slightest breeze.

      • Louise says:

        Sorry to make you wince! It’s been decades since I’ve owned a horse, but the memories are so very rich. Yes, that day was divine.

  22. Pauline says:

    Another beautiful campsite. You amaze me by handling the PTV and BLT all by yourself. You always were a determined kid. LOL Hope you enjoy your stay at your new camp and that your week of July 4th will be tranquil. I am counting the days until I take off for our hometown. Will be there for my 50th class reunion!!! Leave here July 17 and return July 27. Will give your love to Auntie, and the cousins.

    Love You

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m so happy you are going back again this year, Pauline. I know the annual reunion is a wonderful time for you, and many of the hometown folks enjoy seeing you again.

      I’d love to see Auntie and give her a big hug. Love you, too.

  23. Mick says:

    As I’m sure with many RvSue&Crew followers I feel a deep sadness over the loss of the Prescott Hotshot team at the Yarnell fire. They have a Facebook page that has donation links here:
    Please remember if you give to a professionally managed organization such as the Red Cross, only a small percentage will reach the intended folk.
    This link may be the most direct donation:
    I decided not to tell my bad Red Cross story.

  24. sandy says:

    Beautiful site…..Enjoy!! Is there a way that I can automatically receive your daily blogs. Since you changed your address I have had to pull your site up each day….If so, tell me what to do…..Thank you and treasure the moment!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Sandy. . . You can try the email notification or the RSS feed at the very bottom of this page. I haven’t come up with anything that works as well as what I had before. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  25. DeAnne in TN says:

    I have another chuckle for you (you can never have enough.) I, too, am the proud owner of a water hound. One of my boys, Melvin, whines at my feet when I wash dishes. He jumps in the tub when I am taking a shower (or bath.) Today during a walk, he walked through a puddle. It seems I have my own divining dog, err, rod.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, congratulations, DeAnne! What a funny revelation! Isn’t it delightful to see your crew grow up and reveal their personalities. . . . Thanks for giving me another reason to smile!

  26. Aerolite Steve says:

    Just noticed the Google map on the side. Now I know exactly where you are (sort of). I’m loving your pics and can’t wait to get down there … probably in August or September.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I know you are going crazy with anticipation. It oozes out of every comment you make here, Steve. Bless your heart . . . The day will come . . . 🙂

  27. Ladybug says:

    Wait. There’s a Google map now? When did that happen?!? I see there’s a weather thingamajigger too!

    I can’t believe how hot it is, in places it’s normally not. I’ve been in Spokane, WA, around the 4th of July and nearly froze! Yeah, I know part of it was because of coming from the hot south of 90+ with high humidity to 70ish dry heat, but still. Today I was 81 with low humidity, and they hit 100!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Ladybug! I hope you like the Google map and the weather forecaster. I think they’re neat. You can click on them and find all sorts of good stuff.

      Keep cool!

Comments are closed.